Steve Mason practiced today at Chelsea Piers in New York City.
A day after the Flyers lost 4-1 to the Rangers in Game 1, Mason was on the ice in hopes to play in Game 2. When asked if he would be ready, he told reporters, “I’ll try my best.”
Mason's willingness to play in Game 2 isn't a reflection of how Ray Emery played in Game 1. With the Flyers out-shot 36-15 in the game, Emery's 32 saves were a testament to how well he played in spite of poor showing by the Flyers and a poorly-timed double minor by a rookie.
It seemed inevitable. Two periods of being outpossessed, outshot and outchanced eventually came back to bite the Philadelphia Flyers.
Jason Akeson's double minor penalty in the third period led to two power play goals from Brad Richards and Derek Stepan, which sunk the Philadelphia Flyers in game one by a score of 4-1. With the loss, it extended the team's losing streak at Madison Square Garden to nine games.
By virtue of finishing third place in the Metropolitan Division, the Flyers have drawn the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. The Flyers and Rangers split their season series, with both teams winning twice on home ice.
If you go back into the early episodes of the TCL Flyers podcast, you'll hear me proclaim Ray Emery as the Flyers' starting goaltender in 2013-14. Why? He had shown an ability to be competitive after suffering avascular necrosis in 2010. He also proved to be a valuable backup on a juggernaut Chicago Blackhawks team that won hockey's greatest prize.
Steve Mason, that other guy, played well during his seven-game tryout at the 2013 season's conclusion. Prior to that, I, and many others, fell into the trap of thinking of Mason as the sad sack goalie from The Buckeye State with undersized pads who produced a record fit for the NHL's version of a discard pile.
Sunday afternoon didn't go exactly as Cal Heeter planned, but it was a memorable experience nonetheless for the rookie goalie, who made his NHL debut.
Heeter allowed five goals, including one in the shootout as the Flyers failed to complete one more comeback. They lost 6-5 in a shootout in their final game of the season before they begin a playoff series with the Rangers.
Heeter showed obvious jitters in the first period, allowing three goals while fighting with the puck for the first 20 minutes. He settled down for the remaining 45 minutes, allowing his team to climb back into the game and force overtime.
(Photo: Cal Heeter composes himself after allowing a first period goal. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
The Flyers found out who their first round opponent in the playoffs will be.
The Flyers beat the Penguins 4-3 in overtime, clinching third place in the Metropolitan Division. It will set up a first round series with the New York Rangers, who the Flyers have had a poor track record with this season.